always seemed out of place, from the moment they released their debut until the time they hit the big time with White on Blonde
in the second half of the '90s. They may have been able to gain momentum from Britpop, but they didn't really belong, since their sensibility was far too soulful and classy, borrowing equally from the smooth soul of the '70s, Americana fascinations, and, in a roundabout way, the sophisti-pop of the '80s. Still, they were professional, stylish, and, thanks to Sharleen Spiteri
, sexy, which meant they did make sense in the aftermath of Britpop, even if they were a bit out of step. As the splendid Greatest Hits
proves, they could even have made it into the American mainstream if they had received a push on adult alternative pop/rock radio, since they were melodic, classy, and solid. They never were groundbreaking, but they were professionals, and even if this hits collection has a couple run-of-the-mill cuts, at its best -- "Say What You Want," "Black Eyed Boy," "In Our Lifetime" -- it's as good as mainstream post-alternative adult pop gets. For European listeners, certainly a snapshot of the times, and for Americans, this is a good way to get acquainted with a minor treasure.